Web Design Deadly Sin # 4 – Difficult Navigation

If you’ve ever been driving in an unfamiliar area and become lost, you’ll know how frustrating it can be. The same applies to arriving at a website, only to find that you can’t find your way around.  One of the things that can ruin a website design is non-intuitive navigation. The last thing you want your visitor to be is confused as to where to go, or what to do next.

The less they have to click around to find what they want, the better – and the higher your chances of keeping them on your pages. Your visitors should never feel as though they need  GPS to keep from getting lost.

This is Part 4 of the 7 deadly sins of web design, and what you can do to avoid them.

Even complex websites can have friendly navigation.
Amazon illustrates their "mega menu" to make the experience of clicking around, more enjoyable.

Visual cues and relevant information upfront.
VW not only shows their models on a tidy grid, they even display prices too!

WEB DESIGN DEADLY SIN #4

Difficult navigation. Simplicity and consistent navigation is very important in your web design. Each and every one of your pages should answer a question or solve a problem. Here are some things to consider.

  • Unclearly worded links turn people off. Your visitors needs to be sure where they will end up when they click.
  • Decide what the most important links should be. Primary navigation should include no more than 6 links – like Home, Services, About Us, News, Blogs, Contact etc. Everything else should be considered a secondary link, such as Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, Site Map, Resources etc.
  • Non-standard navigational buttons will lose customers. Stick with standard, i,e, horizontal across the top, or vertical down the left side. It has been shown that left navigation is more popular as people read from left to right. Top navigation, on the other hand leaves more room for content below.
  • Too many drop down menus have been shown to annoy visitors. When a potential customer clicks a button expecting to find one thing, they dislike having to navigate elsewhere to find out something else.
  • Putting your links in the wrong order can have your potential clients miss what they where looking for. Put your most important information first, 2nd and 3rd and leave out unnecessary or irrelevant links.
  • One important part of good navigation is internal linking between your pages. These links should be placed in the body text on your pages. Not only does this make it easy for readers to find related information quickly, but it can help search engines to locate every page.
  • Dead, or malfunctioning links are a prime source of annoyance for visitors.

Your visitors don’t have time to do a course on how to get around your website. They need to feel welcome, and able to find what they’re looking for quickly and seamlessly.

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